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Hardball With Chris Matthews

News/Business. (2012) (CC)

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Us 14, John Kerry 9, Chris Christie 8, Boehner 8, Clinton 7, Christie 6, Bob 5, Susan Rice 4, Washington 4, Barbara Walters 3, Usaa 3, Hillary Clinton 3, Kerry 3, Romney 3, Paul Ryan 3, Islam 3, Chuck 3, Alabama 3, Sandy 3, Texas 3,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.  (2012)  (CC)  

    December 13, 2012
    4:00 - 5:00pm PST  

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elicit false confession. we will get into those in much more detail next week in a special edition of "politics nation," the central park five. that's next wednesday on this show. how police and others could use the state purposely to come to conclusion and how to this day, those young men that lost 7-13 years of their life still not given any compensation. they were advocates on both sides. i was an advocate that believed in them. we're not talking about advocates here. we're talking about police. we're talking about people with the power of the state that had children with no lawyers or paren parents make confessions that they coached into and no one stepping forward to compensate anything. we'll discuss that next
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wednesday. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardba "hardball" starts right now. good ef ebbing. president obama deserves the best possible secretary of state. it's been my view some distance from the white house, that the president was truly undecided on whom this person should be. late today, ambassador rice's removal of herself from this situation made this situation through the pain involved easier. john kerry, if he is the one appointed, could end up a fabulous secretary of state. somebody to make this country truly proud. he lost the presidency by a single state in 2004 and then
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went onto become a deeply effective chairman of the senate foreign relations committee. he projects a grace under pressure that we see in the president himself, a noble attribute that most of us take as quiet courage. as an embarrassed as he is to admit, he's one of the few to master foreign language. i like kerry buzz want he's had the guts to run for office, just like hillary clinton. he's had the nerve to stick his neck out and ask the voter to like him or not like him. to trust him or not trust him. that, to me, is the key to true democratic government. i've said so before. i hope the president makes him his secretary of state. it would be the first strong move to building a powerful second term cabinet to building a team that whether, with god's blessing, take barack obama into global history. john kerry can help barack be just that. joining me now is nbc news chief white house correspondent chuck todd. chuck, this has been fascinating
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chlts do you know when the president decided with or along with ambassador rice that she should formally remove herself from consideration? >> this is my understanding, the president never asked her to do this. she came to this conclusion on her own in the last 24 hours and said this is not worth it. it was can causing the president a fair share of problems. so she made this decision on her own. i can tell you, the president has been conflicted on this for some time. he had been getting conflicting advice. democratic senators were quietly sending word to the white house. we've got a lot of heavy lifts to do for the president. a heavy lift on whatever the fiscal deal ends up being or not being. a heavy lift on immigration. don't add to the angst.
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don't add to the anxiety. look, i think that she's a victim of an old fashioned media feeding fren si that we're going to look back on and feel as if -- was it -- this is pretty unfair to her. the way this went down. those are the breaks in washington. >> let me ask you, i know it's a question of trade craft and you're the best at it. so i'm not questioning how you find out things, but this one is tough. there are so many desperate streams of thought and emotion in this white house about this appointment, people who have their own interest, people like the security staff. the people close to the president from chicago. there's aspects of feminism here, aspects of sexism. so many swirling emotions and sentiments. how can you tell me what the president wanted? it seems so hard to get to him not just to people around him with their own agenda? >> i think you're right. there was a split, if you will. it's sort of the cold
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pragmatists all thought john kerry secretary of state makes sense. he's earned this. he deserves this. this is a good thing. and the foreign policy had to say you know what, secretary of state should be somebody who almost was president. you know? and in the heft of a hillary clinton being replaced by the heft of a person that was a football stadium away from being president themselves, that will impress people that this secretary of state has to sit down with foreign leaders around the world. then there was another part of this persuasion. they're very loyal to her. this is somebody who has worked her way up through diplomatic ranks. john kerry worked his way up to the political ranks. pseudosan rice has done every job you need to have done in une lekted politics, if you will, to be qualified, to have the resume. to have the experience to be secretary of state.
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and by the way, kerry and rice, in some ways, some could argue, sue the world a little bit differently. john kerry is seen by somebody more firsthand. he's somebody who's mup more hesitant. so there was a lot here, i think, that was more than just am i going to do something with my friend? it's more complicated than that. >> as a commentator, i feel more comfortable with kerry. at least that's my opinion. >> i said that there were different swirling or swirling sentiments here.
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>> what can you report from that interest and self interest? >> i think it's been very obvious that he wanted susan rice. that that was his first choice. they even floated the possibility that john kerry floelted a defense that he did not want. people knew in the white house that john kerry has really felt a desire to get out there. to get out of a senate that is largely dysfunctional. and so they felt they owed him something. he has taken a number of very tough secret missions on behalf of this president to places like pakistan and afghanistan some really dice si situations. >> we know you can talk to people around the president. how do you figure out which one is truly talking for the president? i think the point that you're
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right about is when he said they floated the name of the president for defense. no, he didn't want it. must have been done with the pthd's approval. the best evidence, aside from reporting and people who know the president and talking to people in the white house team, my best evidence is what you saw yourself. the first news conference after the election when this re-elected president said basically, you know, channelling aaron sorkins saying don't go after me. come after me. and it was right after michael douglas and the american president, as we all know at the time. you're a film guy. you know what's going on there. he made it very clear. he signalled it every way possible. she was twisting in the wing.
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she was left in nowhere's land. she didn't have all the armor of the nominee. >> here's my question. what stopped him? >> the fact that some of the people he is closest to, as chuck knows better than anyone, the people that were advising the president, you do not need this fight. and it is going to be a fight. we don't need to spend all of this political capital on what is going to be an intermble invest gags. he was going to lead the way. >> let me get back to you, chuck. let's get this from chuck, as well. do you think secretary clinton or former president clinton, they've done this, i know, in private, said what they felt about this. they were for kerry.
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did they ever lobby for kerry? >> hillary clinton understood where the president's loyalties lie. he was leading towards rice. he wasn't going to start to debate and try to -- and i think that, in fact, those close to secretary clinton, i think andrea can speak to this, really try to snuff out these stories that secretary clinton wanted kerry over rice. didn't want to have rice replaced. she wasn't going to get involved with that. i think she stayed out of that a lot. i don't think that they were going to speculate that at all. i think they were always close. but some of that all goes back to the '08 primary campaign. in fact, you have some people who believe that that's what -- that's the issue john mccane has with her. that this goes back to the 2008 campaign when susan rice was the prominent foreign policy surrogate.
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let me go back to the same question here. i've heard it a couple of strong ways. that they did have an opinion in this matter. >> i'm sure they had an opinion. but i do not think they voigsed it. this was dine miet to come out against susan rice. she did everything they could to support her. they did work out her relationship. clearly, susan rice and other foreign policies were of obama, not clinton during those primaries. hillary clinton has been pitch perfect on working out her relationship with her former advisors. even though it was in the white house. >> you're at bay right now. what do you think? did it come down to two? and, therefore, is it kerry's? ha is something completely unforseen. i think john kerry will be nominated and i cannot imagine him being confirmed.
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but, then, we said that about john tower. no comparison. >> let me just make my point. i know you're laughing shlgs and we don't want to be wasted on this. when committee chairman then become nominated, they're colleagues with great difference. but you never know what you don't know. john kerry is completely qualified. healthy, despite, you know, a scare back in '04. and we can imagine a very quick and easy confirmation. >> yeah, far better than this, an dree ya. i'm enjoying one as pekts of the way you said something. do you think this is a much better point of view than having to put up for defense? it would be much more central to the investigation. >> he has foreign policy experience, but the military, even though he was a war hero, it was in a war that's very controversial.
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and he doesn't have the budget experience, you know, primary budget experience that leon had as a primary director. >> one thing that this does, potentially, reopen back up. there have been a lot of reporting -- injuries that have been reporting on this. among the leading contenders to be defense secretary, former republican senator of nebraska. however, i think the developments here and i've talked to some senior officials. there's not going to be -- i wouldn't be surprised if you see some of the prominent women candidates that we're already talking about for defense, and being completely considered for defense and seeing that glass ceiling broken, which would be very cig nif kant. >> go ahead, andrea. >> she was on my show yesterday and she said she wasn't being vetted.
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so maybe they didn't -- i don't know what to make of that. >> you're a student of politics as well as we are. we have one african american as attorney general. doesn't he have to have a woman in the big four? >> absolutely. janet napoloano. but maybe there is a woman for secretary. >> the international has been very involved in the international debt crisis. who you see sort of being reemerged as a potential leading candidate. >> i think it's a big deal these days. chuck, you're staying with us on this political thing. coming up, the results of our new nbc journal that we're in. one thing is clear, the republican party has a soaring reputation. you believe that? the most words people use to
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describe the party are bad, weak and negative. for all of the millions the party spent to sell its candidat candidates, the american public doesn't like what it sees when it hears the word republican. hillary clinton and chris christie coming soon to a presidential primary near you. could clinton versus christy be the dream match-up for every political junkie this side of heaven. can boehner deliver enough votes? finally, let me finish tonight with that old question of why not the best? this is "hardball," the place for politics. military life is different. we've been there. that's why every bit of financial advice we offer is geared specifically to current and former military members and their families. [ laughs ] dad! dad! [ applause ] ♪ [ male announcer ] life brings obstacles. usaa brings advice.
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call or visit us online. we're ready to help. one headline, for the first time ever, a majority of voters support marriage equality. 51 p 51% say they support same-sex marriage. all you have to do is look at our poll to see how fast we've changed on that issue.
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only 30% supported gay marriage. in 2009, it was up to 34%. as i said, it's up to 51. a solid majority. it's a small one. we'll be right back. the way it cleans. everything about the oral-b power brush is simply revolutionary. oral-b power brushes oscillate, rotate and even pulsate to gently loosen and break up that sticky plaque with more brush movements than manual brushes and even up to 50% more than leading sonic technology brushes for a superior clean. oral-b power brushes. go to oralb.com for the latest offers. hi, i'm ensure clear... clear, huh? i'm not juice or fancy water. i've got nine grams of protein. that's three times more than me! [ female announcer ] ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach. is a thrilling, dual-flavored ride to mouth fun-town.
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welcome back to "hardball." we've been saying that the republican party has an image problem, a reputation problem. new numbers just out proved the point. the democratic party's favorable number social security now 44%. and the overall favorable is plus nine, other words, a better positive than negative. the republicans just have a 30% right now. that's pretty bad if you subtract the bad from the good. it gets worse, a cloud showing the most commonly-used words like oh, you love these words. bad, weak, negative showing up the most with other words like
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uncompromising, broken and out of touch rounding out the top terms. >> back to you, chuck, for this question. let's be totally analytical. what's wrong? >> what's wrong is you've got to realize it's not been several months, it's been several years. the trend data is unmistakable. this has basically been in the wrong direction for the republican party going back to 2005. they've had a small blip in 2010. and the president was pushing an unpopular health care bill. but if you look back, this has been a five-year trend of a very
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slow erosion. and, by the way, you don't just see it in polling. if you look over the last ten years, particularly the last six years in exit polling and people who self identify with the republican party, there has been a slow percentage, over time, the trend is down. i think this is a party that -- the biggest problem isn't that it's too conservative, it's that it's out of touch. you can be conservative around in touch. conservative and relevant. and they're coming across as not relevant, whether it's with hispanics, with women. the party brand -- mitt romney could have been ronald reagan, but the party brand was in worse shape.
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>> let's talk about the specifics. apparently, they're not popular with hispanics or suburban women. not with even white independent voters, which surprises me. what do you make of that? >> you just outlined sort of the future swing vote for the 2016 and 2020 election. >> ub urban women, that's a place where they have to do better. >> h is a problem, chris. it's across the board. that's why -- chuck points out. it's not just an election. it's not just a candidate. this is about mitt romney. not really. this is about the fate of a republican. chuck mentioned 2010.
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brand and haven't for a while. >> the importance, chuck, and you're the expert as well as you're the expert as well as chris, the importance of hispanic voters, the importance of younger voters is they don't all vote in midterm elections, but in a general election for president, you have all of a sudden all the negatives in the republican party blossoming into the most important things in the party. so it's the position against legalization of people that have been here a while, its the position on abortion rights, all the issues that affect young people, all the issues that are salient with minorities and young people they're wrong on. >> chris, here is the thing. if they just sit here and say, i have heard this from some republicans, you know what? we'll be fine in 2014, you know, because turnout won't be the same, it will be a better electorate, but you know what? over time that electorate is going to change, too. it takes a little bit longer, but we saw evidence of that. harry reid is still a united
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states senator because the electorate has changed in nevada even in a midterm. michael bennet is now a full term united states senator because the electorate changed in colorado even in a midterm. so this stuff, it is -- you're just suddenly protecting shrinking and shrinking turf. they do have to come to realize, and i think that that's -- that's what's going to make, for instance, watching the immigration debate -- i somehow believe republicans are going to go en masse but maybe they won't. if it ends up being more divisive and ends up being harder to get done and the republican brand is sullied even more with hispanics, they could lose a whole generation. >> just to make the point, a new study released by a prominent republican pollster shows the republican party is in big trouble. quote, republicans have run out of persuadable white voters for the fifth time in the past six presidential elections. republicans lost the popular vote. trying to win a national election by gaining a larger and
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larger share of a smaller and smaller portion of the electorate is a losing political proposition. >> mitt romney won the white vote by 20 points, 59/39. he won the white vote by 20 points because he won voters who said the economy was the most important issue. he won political independents, and he still lost convincingly. i would add to the five out of six popular vote, it's amazing. in the 1980s democrats always worried and they said, republicans have a lock on the electoral college. reagan won twice with over 500 electoral votes. h.w. bush won in '88. the ceiling in electoral college is probably the 286 bush got. new mexico, colorado, montana, if those states start to be swing states or go to the democratic side, it's not even the popular vote, it's the electoral college. >> i have to use a philadelphia reference here, growing up frank rizzo needed to win 87% of the white vote because that was his strength. he got 83%.
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got to the point where you almost had to get 90% of the white vote to survive politically and it -- >> by the way, in order to do -- in order to accomplish that, you know what kind of campaign you have to run? that's not a way to govern. when it's over, if you happen to win under that circumstance where you create a racially polarizing environment, ethnically polarizing environment, then good luck governing. >> if you had a nightstick in your cummerbund. coming up, santa claus takes on paul ryan next in the "sideshow." this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ [ male announcer ] how could a luminous protein in jellyfish, impact life expectancy in the u.s., real estate in hong kong, and the optics industry in germany?
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the last guy pitched more ball packers. but you... you consulted ups. you found a better way. that's logistics. that's margin. find out what else ups knows. i'll do that. you're on a roll. that's funny. i wasn't being funny, bob. i know. back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." it's santa claus versus paul ryan. that's right. action.org, a coalition of progressive groups, turned to santa to spread the word about middle class tax cuts. and he has a run-in here with the house budget chairman. >> paul. >> oh, yeah. hey, santa. >> paul, i was looking for you.
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>> i got to run. i got people waiting for me in my office. i got to get going. >> i just want to give you the heads up, two weeks. coal on the list right now, my friend. don't be a scrooge this christmas time. call congress today and urge them to vote for tax cuts for 98% of americans. >> ho, ho, ho. >> a politically charged santa claus might be too much to handle. a ppp poll earlier this week showed a plurality of americans think santa claus is a democrat. a muslim infiltration conspiracy strikes again. this time in texas. school officials in the dallas district received a bizarre chain e-mail linking to this website. check out this headline. islam in texas schools. why can't teachers disclose the content? wow. far from writing it off as a dose of crazy talk, concern within the school board about some kind of islamic bias in the
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curriculum led to an investigation. who did the groupnvestigation that puts together curriculum select to do the review? according to "the dallas morning news," the director said she hired a socially and fiscally conservative social studies teacher who watches glenn beck on a regular basis to seek out any islamic bias. christianity got twice as much attention in the curriculum as any other religion. if there was any islamic bias, it was bias against radical islam. so the conclusion from the 72-page handout the school officials received, texas students are not being indoctrinated by radical islam. finally, there may be gridlock in washington over the fiscal cliff, but members of parliament in the ukraine spent
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the first two days of the parliamentary session literally fistfighting over the election of parliamentary officials. this was the scene from today. anyway, yesterday's session was suspended due to a similar brawl with one man having his ear torn. the election did wind up happening today. ukrainian law dictates that the police cannot intervene in parliamentary fights. the members can't be punished for what they do in them. i guess that explains that. up next, chris christie versus hillary clinton in 2016? wishful thinking for all of us political junkies. what a match-up that would be. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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hey, there here's what's happening. a meeting between president obama and john boehner ended a
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few weminutes ago. for the first time, russia is acknowledging that the president may oust bahashad. the president is continuing to gain strength and suspects that he will be home for christmas. welcome back to "hardball." with a gritty state of new jersey's home to the boss, bruce springsteen, and the boardwalk of the empire fame, it's also the home of an increasingly popular brass politician by the name of chris christie. he may have sat out the presidential race in 2012, but he later earned high marks for his handling of hurricane sandy. how he's leaving the door very open for a bid for president in 2016. here he was on abc with barbara walters just last night. >> when you were pressed to run for president this time, you said you didn't think you were ready.
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what did you mean by that? >> i wasn't ready to undertake a campaign. that's an enormous decision to make for yourself and your family, and i didn't feel ready. >> how do you think you're going to feel in 2016? >> well, you know what? i have no idea. >> in your fantasies when you're just talking to yourself, do you say president chris christie? >> no. no, i don't. >> nobody doesn't like barbara walters. president chris christie, it could happen, but he may need to get past hillary rodham clinton on the way to the actual oval office. john feehery is a republican strategist, and bob shrum is a columnist for the daily beast. gentlemen, sometimes i feel the cosmos shifts and all of a sudden things are all of a sudden different. over and over and over again starting with "the sopranos," this incredible focus on jersey. "boardwalk empire," the wives of
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new jersey, the boss, springsteen, on both major tablets' front page at the fund-raiser. everything, the four seasons, the jersey boys. everything is about jersey. it's always been overlooked. it's a commuter city. all of a sudden it's in the foreground, and sandy is the biggest tragedy in the country for a lot of people, and who is leading it? this big guy with a real jersey attitude. every time we talk to him now we're talking president. >> there's a reason all those wall street financiers were begging chris christie to run last time, because they thought he could win, and i think if he had run this time, he had -- he could have got all those blue collar guys in michigan, all the blue collar guys in ohio, all the blue collar guys in wisconsin. he's a blue collar guy, and he would have won the south anyway. he would have been a great candidate. the question is is -- >> when did you start saying this? >> i said it on your show. the question is in four years can he maintain that. >> let's not talk about four years. let's talk about right now. don't do that. don't do what you just said. this is what it looks like right
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now. >> right now he would be a great candidate. >> shrummy, let's talk about culture. you're a student of popular culture. something says to me it's jersey's turn. it just is. if you don't buy it, say you don't buy that. >> i don't buy that. i think this guy is really interesting. he's a big winner in 2012 -- >> would you ever back a republican under any circumstance over any democrat ever? >> it depends who the democrat was -- >> have you ever done it? >> as a general proposition, no. >> have you ever done it? >> no. >> then make that clear. >> chris, i vote -- you'll get mad at me. i voted for gerald ford in 1976. >> you're a puma. you're a puma wannabe. keep going. let's talk chris christie. >> christie has a big personality. he's going to be a huge factor on the national stage, but he's also got big problems in the republican primaries. this is a guy who favors not marriage equality but civil unions.
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that's a problem in iowa, south carolina, all those states where an increasingly shrunken base is not going to like that and may just look at him and say he's too far out. >> but he's pro-choice -- no, he's pro-life is what he is. >> he's pro-life now. he's like romney now. he's flip-flopped on the issue. i think there will be some suspicion of that in the republican party. and sandy, which helped him in new jersey, makes him virtually a lock for re-election, has left a lot of bad taste in a lot of republican mouths, and that's why he's only running at 14% in that -- >> because? what's the bad taste about? lay it out. >> embracing the president. i mean, you know, there are all these explanations, sandy came along, that's why obama won. christie was too nice to him, that's why obama won. none of it is true, but there's a lot of anger in the republican party, a lot of disbelief about the outcome of this. i think he would be a formidable republican candidate. >> if he had picked him for his running mate, he would have neutralized him. he wouldn't have been in the embrace of and working with the president so closely as the running mate for romney. he wouldn't have been that guy
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who turned out to be politically worthless, ryan. wouldn't that have been a smarter move? >> it would have been an infinitely smarter move. i think he would have embraced the president, and it would have helped romney and christie, not barack obama. so, yeah, i think it was a dumb move. i mean, he would have been a better choice, almost anybody would have been a better choice than paul ryan. >> let me go back to you. do you agree with that? would -- >> the thing about chris christie is he's real. people want authenticity, people who have real pragmatism and can run thing. they need leadership. what christie gives you is his pragmatic leadership. that's why he gave the president a wet kiss. he said i need help, give me the help, and people respond to that. i think there are partisans who -- >> let's look at the match-up potentially of the woman everyone is watching for, hillary clinton. also spoke to barbara walters, and she, too, didn't completely rule herself out for running for president.
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let's watch the secretary of state. >> i've said i really don't believe that that's something i will do again. >> you know your husband wants you to run in 2016. what do you say to him? >> he wants me to do what i want to do. he has made that very clear, and some of what i want to do is just kick back. i mean -- >> yeah, but after you have slept -- >> but i haven't had a chance to do that yet. >> let's give you three months. >> oh, no. >> what would it take to convince you to run in 2016? >> that's all hypothetical because right now i have no intention of running. >> one thing, bob, no candidate, male or female, democrat or republican, ever admits to is ambition. it's not in their memoirs when they're 9 years old. they never admit it when they're 25 years old. it's the one thing you never admit but everybody knows you have. only doing it for children, for old people, only doing it for somebody else or world peace.
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now, when you watch hillary clinton, i do believe she hasn't made up her mind, but do you take that as an acting role when she says i haven't thought about it or do you take it for real? >> i think she thinks about it. when people say they don't intend to run, that's usually a signal that they're going to run. look -- >> they're going to intend to run. >> she could surprise us and decide not to run. i don't think that's going to happen. i think there's a very good chance she will run. very formidable candidate this time. women will overwhelmingly support her, number one. number two, she'd have tremendous financial advantage, and, number three, she's a lot better off running not for a clinton restoration but much more in her own right having been secretary of state, as a successor to obama, and out there articulating the kind of populist themes that worked so well for her at the end of the primaries in 2008 and which have now become central for the president. >> i agree. by the way, every time i have a poll at a dinner party or lunch, i ask do you think she's going to run? everybody thinks it's unanimous until you ask them. it's usually a slight majority
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think she's going to run. never a big majority. people really have second thoughts because they know it's a 12-year run. four years running, eight years serving. it's a really brutal road she's setting for herself. i think she'll run, but i don't think it's an easy decision. >> and i think she's exhausted. being in that public -- i think that's right. she's going to be a tough candidate. >> nobody can beat her i don't think. >> it depends -- >> we'll have you back for christie -- thank you. you'll be press secretary. that would be a great job. you could speak for him. none of your business. the governor says none of your business. the governor says none of your business. every day you say it all day long. thank you, bob. thank you, john, who will be known as the guy who before the governor says none of your business. up next, the fiscal cliff. president obama met again today with house speaker john boehner, but can boehner deliver his caucus? that's the toughest job for him and for the country. can he deliver enough republicans to be a respectable republican leader? this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t. so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows. hi! how are you? [ male announcer ] learn more at isitlowt.com. [ laughs ] hey! welcome back to "hardball." late this afternoon president obama and speaker boehner met at the white house in their first face-to-face meeting since fiscal negotiations last sunday, and boehner is scheduled to return home to ohio on friday for a long weekend. earlier today the speaker made clear that there would be no compromise without more cuts to spending. let's listen. >> i have been pushing all year for us to address this problem. but here we are at the 11th hour, and the president still isn't serious about dealing with this issue right here. it's this issue, spending. >> joining me is congressman chirs van hollen, who is a ranking member on the budget committee and a man many expect
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to be the next democratic speaker of the house. i do mean that. let's start. you don't have to take that back. you're young, you have a shot. let's talk about -- >> i like your book, by the way. >> the book on kennedy. thank you. let's talk about the speaker of the house. you said in the press the last couple hours or day that boehner is waiting to get re-elected speaker so he can have the republicans behind him before he cuts this deal. >> well, my point is this, the big holdup right now is the fact that speaker boehner cannot get a critical mass in his caucus to endorse what every american would think was a reasonable deal with increased rates on wealthier individuals. on wealt. and if he doesn't have critical mass, he has to have a choice. he could easily bring a bill to the floor of the house that allowed for a vote. it might require less than half of republicans joining with democrats. but we can get it done. there's nothing in the constitution. there's nothing in the house -- >> where did they get to the idea on the republican side at least that you have to have a majority of the majority? >> we call it the hastert rule after former speaker of the
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house hastert. it was a tom delay invention. and people need to know, this is just something they made up. he -- >> how can you be bipartisan if you said it's a rule you've got to have a majority of your party? >> well, that's exactly right. that's what we're saying. be a leader. take into accounts the interests of the country, not just the republican party in the house. bring it to the floor so they can get a majority vote, republicans and democrats working together. that's what the american people want -- >> let's talk about -- >> so my concern is that because he might think he's going to put his speakership at risk if he does that before the end of the year, he may be in fact holding out until january 3rd, which is when he's officially sworn in. he has to be voted on by his colleagues as speaker of the house for the next term. so my worry is that he's dragging things out for political purposes. >> is it possible you could get a deal that's not the biggest deal in the century but good enough to get through the cliff, avoid the cliff? what about a little more than a trillion in revenue? around a trillion in spending cuts. we had jared bernstein on this program a couple weeks ago who said that looked like it could be the solution. does it look like it could be one now?
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$2 trillion in savings from the debt over ten years. >> well, i think the president says that in order to get a balanced approach and really deal with this issue you need more revenue. the president has been willing -- >> do you think they need 1.2? >> well, no, i think the president is at 1.4. which is less than simpson-bowles, which is less than the revenue net in simpson-bowles. but chris, here's an issue. the speaker keeps talking about these cuts. the president already agreed to adopt a trillion dollars in cuts as part of the budget control. he has called for another $600 billion in cuts as part of his plan. and he spelled them out. >> well, let's ask you, what's the republican problem? why couldn't they accept -- i thought it was hard for them to budget the caucus. he's talking 600 million, which is really pushing your caucus. what do they want, the republicans? >> they won't tell us what they want. they won't even tell us how they would get their 800 billion, which is not enough but they can't tell us how they would get the $800 billion in revenue. why? because as soon as they show the country how they would do it people are going to start to see that eliminating deductions like
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your charitable deduction is going to be something people don't support. >> of course not. and by the way, raising the age for medicare for a lot of people makes no sense. you're driving a truck, you're working a trip hammer, you're working on a roof somewhere, why should you have to wait later to get medicare? >> here's the way republicans define medicare reform. simply transferring and passing on the cost to seniors as opposed to the way the president and democrats did it. trying to control all health care costs. the president has more savings in his budget over the next ten years, chris, than the ryan republican budget did. he gets it in a very different way. not by asking seniors to foot bill. >> congressman chris van hollen. thank you. >> thank you. >> i do think you'll be speaker someday. if you want it. joining me is "washington post" reporter nia malika harrison. i don't have to call you by your title, which is easier. nia. here we go. watching this thing as of tonight are we looking like we'll get to the cliff if not over it? what would you say right now? end of december how does it look to you watching this thing as an observer? >> right. well, there's certainly a debate
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inside the white house about whether or not to go over the cliff, whether or not it's actually a politically more advantageous for the white house to actually go over the cliff. maybe that strengthens the president's hand. the same conversation is going on among house republicans about whether or not they would be strengthened if in fact this happens, we go over the cliff. two things happened today, one of think is bernanke came out and started talking about the volatility of the markets. the other thing that happened was boehner essentially came out and seemed to give a non-answer around this question of whether or not he would back just voting on the middle-class tax cuts. so those two things i think both show on the one hand bernanke that there could be a point when the rubber really meets the road here, when the stock market starts to really react and in that way people would be more jittery and the sort of reality of the fiscal cliff would actually be upon us. and then with boehner sort of essentially saying there would be a sort of middle path to get
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past this. >> are there really people in the white house who believe it's a bungee jump, that if go over the cliff we'll come right back up again in the market, it won't really cost us? because that's not what bernanke thinks. is that what the president thinks, this is a bungee jump we're over then we're back up again? >> you're right. that's not what bernanke -- that's not what bernanke thinks. but there is this sense that maybe just the politics of it and the optics of it would actually strengthen the president's hand. but you're right. if people start looking at their 401(k)s and seeing that decline, it could spell trouble for the white house because ultimately i think the economy and the stock market -- >> i don't think it's a bungee jump. i think it's a cliff. thank you, nia-malika henderson. we'll be right back with my thoughts about what's going on right now. [ male announcer ] when it comes to the financial obstacles
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let me finish tonight with this. call me a romantic. call me a political junkie. call me naive. but what i like is the big-time. i want the best possible people running this country. i want the heavyweights out there. i want to know that when i'm paying attention the first team is out there on the field, that this country of ours, the best country in the world, there, i've said it, has its best people out there doing their best for us. so when i root for kerry to be secretary of state, when i root for chris christie to get out there and run for president, it's for just as glorious a reason. i don't like it when we have a show, a clown show like we witnessed and i had to cover earlier this year. it was a joke how the republican nomination for president contested by the likes of santorum, cain, bachmann and

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